What’s the difference between a Spotify pre-save and an Apple Music pre-add?

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Each streaming platform has their own way to save songs before release

Music industry terminology can be confusing, especially when platforms use similar terms for features they offer. Case in point: both Spotify and Apple Music offer the ability for users to add songs or albums from an artist to their playlists ahead of the music’s release.

The confusing part? They call these features different things. Spotify calls this a “pre-save.” Apple Music calls it a “pre-add.” So how are they different? Or are they different at all? Let’s review.

What is a Spotify pre-save?

Spotify’s pre-save feature allows users to save one song or an entire album to their queue before it’s released. This is convenient for both artist and user because, well, life is complicated and sometimes people forget about that new release they heard about a few weeks ago.

With a pre-save, the user can add the unreleased song or album when they first see it and forget about it until the release date when it magically shows up for them to hear in their Spotify queue.

How do I create a Spotify pre-save for my music?

Creating a Spotify pre-save is easy through CD Baby and Show.co! You’ll need what’s called a Spotify URI code, which stands for “unique resource indicator.”

To get your URI code and set up a Spotify pre-save for your distributed but unreleased music, follow the instructions in our step-by-step guide to Spotify pre-saves.

What is an Apple Music pre-add?

A pre-add is Apple Music’s version of a pre-save. It works mostly the same as Spotify’s feature for the end-user, who simply adds your song to their playlist before it’s released and can then listen to the entire album on its release date.

How do I create an Apple Music pre-add?

The big difference in function for pre-adds applies to the artist. First off, Apple Music pre-adds are only available for albums, so singles do not qualify.

Second, since Apple Music and iTunes are linked by default, the criteria for Apple Music pre-adds is a bit stricter. To qualify for a pre-add on Apple Music, you must:

  • Distribute your album to iTunes
  • Opt in for iTunes pre-sale
  • Select an instant-gratification track
  • Have a release date that is at least one day in the future from the date you’re adding pre-order information
  • Be selected for distribution in the territories you want the pre-add to be available

To paraphrase Ben Gibbard, these are different names for almost the same thing. While Spotify pre-saves and Apple Music pre-adds differ in a few small ways, both are super easy ways to make your music more accessible to fans upon its release.



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